GFO Bergamo



1984 - 2020 36 Years of Railway Modeling

1984 - The year of the foundation

The Orobico and Amatori Ferrovia railway modeling group (GFO) was born on the occasion of a first model making exhibition Railway at the waiting room of the Bergamo railway station in 1984. Already with about thirty members since its foundation, the GFO has organized the first rail trips and the first visits to Locomotive Deposits and to companies producing modeling material.

In its early years, the GFO was a guest of the FS, meeting in the Vocational Education room of the station Bergamo. Thanks to the collaboration with the DLF, in those years a Modeling Exhibition was set up, with an exhibition plastic models of members (but also of companies and other groups of enthusiasts) on Habs wagons, equipped with special ladders access. On the occasion of the Exhibitions, rolling stock of historical interest are also exhibited, and competitions are also often held with railway subjects (model making, photography), which are very successful. The realization is also from those years of the first social model in H0 scale, consisting of a series of modules of limited thickness, absolutely devoid of furniture, elevations and catenary, given the need to be transported on the members' cars every time it was decided to mount them. The model survives until the early 90s, when it is decided to renovate it with the first elements of the landscape and the incorporation of the old modules.

1990 - The headquarters at the Lazzaretto

In 1990 the GFO obtained permission from the Municipality of Bergamo to renovate a cell (about 25 square meters) in the structure of the former Lazzaretto, in part already destined for associations like ours, with a ten-year concessional rental contract. The transfer it was completed in the summer of 1992, with the inauguration of the new headquarters. In the new location, the meetings are held twice a week and this allows work on the new model to be carried out relatively quickly. There are in fact numerous requests to exhibit the social model and the models of the individual members, with a succession of exhibitions in the city, in the province, and in other Lombard locations.
Particularly demanding are some exhibition initiatives at large shopping centers, which involve Members in a regime ... almost working. Also thanks to the collaboration with the agencies responsible for this, the GFO participates in various initiatives local trade fairs, with a stand placed free of charge. In December 1993 the tenth edition of the City exhibition, which will be remembered for the exceptional turnout of the public, having been held in one of the most prestigious venues in the city center and on shopping days for Christmas and the traditional feast of St. Lucia.

1995 - The first "rail safari" in the USA

1995 marks a turning point… oceanic, in the sense that a group of partners makes a railway “safari” in the USA for the first time. The initiative will be repeated several times (now, almost every two years, we have reached 10 trips), with bets on both coasts and visits to the main tourist attractions of the places crossed in search of trains.
The success of the initiative initiates a series of travel experiences, which lead groups of GFO members to visit places and museums in railway interest (but not only) during journeys of a certain commitment in distant parts of our country, and in France, Austria, Germany, in different years and on different occasions.
Obviously, the activity of greatest interest for lovers of royal railways continues in recent years, which among other things brings to perform special trains on some particularly suggestive lines, such as the Trento-Malè, the Genoa-Casella, and the nearby Rhaetian Railway.
In addition to these activities there are new ones, mainly carried out for proselytizing purposes. They are in fact from the late 90s the first educational initiatives of the GFO, which offers railway modeling courses to enthusiasts (with particular attention to the realization of models), and courses in electronics applied to railway modeling (also in this case, taking care of the simpler aspects and of absolutely general interest).

2001 - The new headquarters at ATB

As the expiration of his contract with the Municipality in the late 1990s approaches, the GFO receives from the ATB (Azienda Trasporti Bergamo) an offer of particular interest. The hypothesis put forward by the company executives is beyond measure suggestive: the GFO would have been housed in the newly established Company Finds Room, with the commitment to offer assistance to visitors (both individuals and groups), and with the commitment to make their models visible to the public. Thanks also to the sensitivity of the ATB management, the initiative develops rapidly, and the transfer of the GFO from the former Lazzaretto to the ATB structures takes place in the summer of 2001. Thanks to the space available in the new headquarters, the social model can finally be assembled in such a way permanent and develop further.

2008 - The renewal

In 2008 it was decided to renew the social model, building new standardized modules owned by the individual members (see dedicated page). At the same time, the old model is dismantled, saving however 6 modules including the station, and reassembled in a fixed linear configuration.

2010 - The model of the Bergamo Valleys

In 2010 it was decided to transport the model of the Bergamo valleys FVB - FVS, donated by the partners Bonomi and Pievani, incorporating part of the Val Brembana model (of the Bonomi and Morzenti members) already present at the headquarters. The model, fully functional, was open to the public on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the GFO in September 2013.

2012 - The new modular layout

In 2013 it was decided to start work on the new modular model, in order to make assembly and disassembly operations easier and to have a greater involvement of the members in the setting up. The model "debuts" in 2013, and is the central piece of the event realized at the University of Bergamo for the thirtieth anniversary of the foundation of the GFO. For more information, see the "layouts" section.

2018 - The model is updated on site

In 2018, the GFO layout on site was "reformed", allowing exercise also in digital mode, simplifying the layout with reconstruction of the landscape on the return loops. The model now also incorporates the modules made by Pievani and Bonomi for the "exhibition" modular model. For more information, see the "layouts" section.

Come back upstairs

1984-2020, G.F.O. BERGAMO - Gruppo Fermodellistico Orobico ed Amatori Ferrovia
c/o ATB - Via Monte Gleno 13 (angolo via Berenson) - 24125 BERGAMO